The Republican challenger in the race to determine Michigan’s next governor came out swinging and never stopped during a debate with the Democratic incumbent.
GOP candidate Tudor Dixon trailed Michigan’s Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer before their Thursday debate. Dixon lagged Whitmer by an average 5.7 percent in polls followed by Real Clear Politics.
The Trump-supported candidate for the state’s top elected position has not raised as much in donations as her incumbent opponent. Less money has translated into a mismatch in political ads in newspapers and airing on TV and social media.
Dixon is a former Steel company executive who left the industry after a battle with breast cancer and ended up forming her own company. She also joined a news outlet as an on-air talent, which has made her comfortable speaking to large groups.
The audience that tuned in to watch the two female gubernatorial candidates duke it out was likely the largest group she ever addressed.
During the debate, she battled Whitmer over issues ranging from roads plagued by potholes to taxing auto workers for funding electric car initiatives. They also locked horns over abortion. The Republican believes the only time abortion should be legal is when the mother’s life is at stake. She claims her opponent supports abortion upon demand with almost no restrictions, almost up to the point of birth. Whitmer answered abortion questions with vague responses.
The challenger highlighted her strengths during the raucous debate that included bans on transgender athletes competing in women’s sports and banning discussions about sex or gender with school kids in grades K-3. Dixon also opposes schools advocating gender transitioning, especially when they instruct students to not inform their parents.
Dixon hammered Whitmer on taxes and her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic during her 90-second closing statement.
“The governor would like you to forget how hard the last four years have been with Gretchen Whitmer,” Dixon declared. “She’s shown us who she is. She stood on this very stage and said she wouldn’t raise taxes, and she tried and tried and tried again to raise your taxes over and over.
“She also said that she cares about women, but she would gladly put little boys in your daughter’s locker room,” Dixon continued. “She also said she cares about parents, but she hasn’t stood for parents who have said, ‘Why do we have adults whispering sex and gender into the ears of our little kids?’”
The Republican described Whitmer’s policies as radical, dangerous and destructive.
“Crime is up, jobs are down, schools are worse, and the roads didn’t get fixed,” remarked the Republican. “That’s what happens when you hire a radical career politician — you go in the wrong direction.”